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Canola field with train in the background

Rail and nature

Sustainability and protection of the diversity of species. Healthy habitat for people, animals and plants. ÖBB infrastructure promotes responsible, sustainable and environmentally-friendly mobility.

Important habitat

The areas we own alongside the railway are important habitats and retreat areas for many animals and plants. We manage 2,700 hectares of protective forest, look after railway embankments and rocky surfaces and implement measures to conserve the biodiversity.

Meadow with cows
Avalanche control

Natural hazard management

When it comes to railway security requirements, we consider our environment particularly carefully. In a mountain region like Austria with 5,000 mountain torrents and 3,700 known avalanche points, railway lines pass through many areas affected by natural hazards. Vital, stable forest stands, avalanche barriers and torrent controls protect our rail infrastructure from floods, mud flows and avalanches.

Landscape planning

Even before starting construction work of major projects, we create ecological compensation areas, so that animals and plants can quickly colonise their new habitats on land and in water. Once construction is finished, areas no longer required are returded to nature and planted. Specific measures include laying out ponds and swales, forestation, marsh areas and reed beds, migration facilities for fish and amphibians and wildlife tunnels.

Pond with rail track in the background